Friday, December 10, 2010

Community Participation on Water Program in Natarbora

In the first two months, community participation in DWASH clean water program, sanitation and hygiene is adequate. However, it becomes a problem as activities in Natarbora increase. When we started the implementation program, the programs was interrupted with church activities, three dollar activities (government program for two villages in Natarbora), PDD programs (Government projects run by private companies) and harvest time for farmers. Most of community members prefer government programs which provide them subsidy and salary.

To overcome these obstacles, DWASH integrated team make approaches and coordinations with local authorities, members of GMF and two GOUF and community members to find strategies and solutions. During the coordination, we agree to establish working groups based on existing groups in the community such as Ahimatan. There are fifteen groups of Ahimatan within the two villages. The groups of Ahi matan are traditional community groups formed from different origins of community, for example Ahi matan Laklubar, Soibada, etc. Ahimatans are meant to help, assist and facilitate community works within Suku. Their roles are mainly in mobilizing people to work and to solve every problem within suku. However, according to the chief of GMF, since an Ahimatan is composted of community from the same origin, there are potencies for conflict of interest, for examples racism, discrimination, etc (possibly happen when some groups of Ahimatans are not working). Another reason is because some Ahimatans do not have enough people.

In fact, using groups of Ahimatan was not effective and was not working. The working mechanism was failed to increase community participation.

So, DWASH integrated team propose different working mechanism. We agree that whenever we are working (for example, building a tap stand or digging pipe distribution line in a selected area) we will be assisted by community members surrounding.

Local authorities and DWASH community facilitators will help organizing and coordinating community members who want to assist. Community members agree to delegate one or two family members to assist DWASH program. As the result, works are accelerated and there have been significant increases in community participation. The working mechanism is also able to involve women and teenagers in the implementation program.